Un-Still Life With Cavaliers: The Murfreesboro Chronicles

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog, On The Road | 4 comments

The Cynosport World Games are the national agility championships of the United States Dog Agility Association.  Actually they are the international championships, but everyone seems to just refer to them as “the nationals.”  Probably because Cynosport World Games is kind of a mouthful, and I’m pretty sure nobody really knows whether it’s pronounced “Sign-o-sport” or “Sin-o-sport.”  Cyno- is an ancient Greek prefix meaning “long days and stressed handlers” or possibly “dog,” and all the ancient Greeks I used to drink Ouzo with are dead now so we can’t ask them about it.

CynoThe ‘Mo Mobile is packed and ready.  The dogs are trained, tested, rested and ready.  Elmo, Eve, Cruiser, and Gib all qualified and are entered in some or all of the different classes.  The puppies, Rogue and Mojo, are going along to experience the excitement of the event and fill the 23-1/2 hours a day we won’t be running the other dogs.

A friend of Sanflorian (this is a real person, just like Mrs. Sanflorian) once posed the question on Facebook, “Why do people go to national dog agility events?”  The second half of the question was, “if they don’t stand a chance of winning?”  I don’t remember if the second half was explicitly asked, or was implied, or whether I inferred that it was implied.  But for the sake of the analogies, similes and metaphors to come, let’s use the entire question.  And I’ll don my apron so I don’t get too messy as I butcher the English language.

Bringing a Cavalier to a national dog agility championship is kind of like bringing a knife to a gunfight.  Or rooting for the Cubs to win the World Series.  Or expecting Congress to do the right thing.  You could say we are underdogs.  But we are going to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to compete against the best of the best.  We worked hard to qualify, our dogs are exceptional at agility, especially for Cavaliers, and anything is possible.  And this is not our first rodeo, although my first two rodeos were kind of train wrecks (how’s that for mixing metaphors?)  When I participated in AKC Nationals (which they really do call the National Agility Championships) and one prior Cynosport World Games, I put way too much pressure on myself and my dogs.  We didn’t do very well.  Now I have another chance, and I love the idea of redemption.UnderdogSo we are leaving for Tennessee full of hopes and dreams, but knowing that if we don’t beat the 1100 other dogs there we will not be ashamed.  It is a good place to be, mentally.  Not too much pressure, every run an opportunity that many people will never have.  To answer the original question about why we are going, I believe in underdogs, never saying never, and you have to play the game in order to win the game.  And occasionally we do win the game.  But we’re not just going there to win, and in the end it is just a game.  It’s also an amazing event to be part of, it is a “happening.”  There is dog agility in the air.

I am really excited about seeing the top handlers and dogs in the world, watching them live and up close.  The finals of the different events are electrifying.  An electronic display showing the times as they cross the finish line, placements decided by hundredths of a second.  And if I’m not in the finals, there will be people I know.  Some of them might be underdogs too.  We will cheer for all of them.  It’s going to be amazing, wherever we end up.  It’s also the last RV trip of the season, hanging out with friends and dogs, grilling, drinking, and sharing the day’s events, triumphs and disappointments.

We are grateful and excited for this opportunity, and if nothing else I’m sure I’ll get enough material for another blog post or two.



  1. I’m not sure how I was able to read tomorrow’s post today but none the less, I enjoyed it very much. As I read it, it reminded me of entering my Champion Golden Retriever in the Best of Breed class at our National. I think there were 112 Champions in the ring (this was several years ago)and someone asked why I had entered him as he didn’t stand a chance. I replied 111 aren’t going to win Best of Breed so I don’t think I will feel out of place. I really wanted the thrill of being in the ring with some of the greatest dogs of our breed at that time and besides Joshua had earned the right to be there. You pay your money, you have a blast and take what comes your way…what more could you ask for than doing what you love with your best bud?????
    May you have fantastic runs no matter what that brings you and enjoy every second with your best friends (dogs & human’s) doing what you all love so much!!!

    • Thanks Ruth!

  2. as a cavalier lover and an employee of Max 200 Good Luck and enjoy

    • Thanks! I forgot that Al told me there is a Max 200 cavalier lover!